Your Website Should Make You Money!
Accept Credit Cards
Make it easy (and secure) to order whatever you're selling. Don't make visitors go through a clunky catalog interface in order to buy, and don't require them to search for a product in order to find it. Often they won't know how to perform a search well enough to find what they want, or the phrasing of their search request may not match up with what you have to offer. There's nothing wrong with a good catalog interface, but also organize the products so they can be found by simple navigation, and put "Buy Now" buttons next to pictures of them. That's making it easy to buy!
It isn't even necessary to set up a merchant account with a credit card company to be able to accept credit cards. For an excellent example of this, see our Books Page. Clicking on any of the books or links takes you to Amazon.com or PayPal, where you can order with the click of a mouse.
For an introduction to credit cards and the internet, see the excellent article about this subject on Mal's E-commerce site.
If you have an email address and a credit card, you can sign up at PayPal in about two minutes. It takes about five minutes of your time to be able to accept credit cards through PayPal. (Although it takes them a few days to set it up and verify that your bank account receives two test payments of a few cents each.)
Pitch Your Product or Service
Put the high points of your sales pitch online in text format, next to pictures of the product or examples of your service. Don't be embarrassed! Well-phrased sales information is important in making a sales decision. Customers expect this and are disappointed when there's no effort on your part to help inform them WHY they should buy this thing you are selling, or to assure them that this is THE thing for which they've been looking.
If possible, offer some kind of "buy now" incentive. While we don't offer a "buy now" incentive on our website we DO offer one when someone contacts us and we have a clear spot in our schedule we'd like to fill.
If you sell an expensive product or service, consider putting your sales pitch into streaming video format or in the form of a Flash presentation. But don't force people to view the Flash or video--let them select it if they want to see it. Many people are connected at slow speeds to the net or don't have the viewers for Flash or streaming video installed on their systems.
Put in client or product testimonials. It really works to have your customers help sell your products for you.
If you sell your service then provide some testimonials from satisfied customers and make it easy to contact them for a personal reference. Of course, you'll want to get your clients' agreement first! To see a good example of this at work, see our references page.
For example, the Words in a Row website does a good job of selling our services: website design, website marketing, search engine optimizing and writing. This website produces a steady flow of people asking us to design websites, market websites online, and optimize websites for the search engines. This site also sells our products--our books. We try not to scream our sales pitch at you, yet there it is on every page, as persistent as a used car salesman. You can order our books online without contacting us further, but to order our services you must contact us directly here.
If you need help on putting any of these points into play on your website, feel free to contact us .
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